The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the bank of the European Union. It was created to invest the EU public money according to the values of the Union, and at the same time as the biggest multilateral bank in the world, the EIB has a big role to play in the global fight against climate change.
This year is a KEY opportunity for the bank to show its leadership in the fight against climate change, and to prove it can put the interests of the citizens and the planet first.
Having portrayed itself as a climate leader in the last years, it is now time to substantiate its claims with ambitious and concrete actions.
While substantial progress has been made with the adoption of the new energy policy phasing out fossil fuels, the EIB is not a Climate Bank yet. In June 2020, 34 NGOs sent an open letter to the EIB to ask for urgent steps to be taken so the EIB can truly become the “EU climate bank”.
How can the EIB become a climate leader?
1. The EIB should exclude high-carbon activities in the transport, energy and heavy industry sectors, starting with an explicit ban on any investments in capacity increase for motorways or airports.
2. Corporate-level requirements need to become the new normal for the EIB: the bank should stop any support for high-carbon companies and financial intermediaries that do not rapidly adopt and implement 1.5°C compliant strategies to align their business model with the Paris Agreement.
3. Put the “Just Transition” at the heart of EIB’s investments. Priority should be given to investments in energy efficiency, building renovation, decentralized renewable energy sources, circular economy and other forms of infrastructures that are connected to the needs of citizens and territories.